In case you’re after a laptop that can actually do some demanding stuff, you should steer away from the cheapest Celerons. Instead, you should favor a bit more powerful rigs, just like Dell Inspiron i5548-833SLV with a solid Intel Core i5 processor. Whether its other features are sufficient to you is an entirely different question, though. So read on to find if this notebook would be useful to you or not.
The processor of Dell Inspiron i5548-833SLV is a brand new 5th Generation Core i5-5200U, launched in the beginning of 2015. It runs on two cores and clocks up to 2.7GHz with turbo frequency (base speed is 2.2GHz). Despite of being a recent release, CPU enthusiasts have already benchmarked it: The i5-5200U model reaches ~3700 points in CPU Mark tests, so it’s a high-end model in the whole i5 series. The performance is certainly adequate for everyday computing, but also for more demanding programs, including Photoshop and other applications that require lots of processing power.
The laptop contains two 4GB DDR3L memory modules, so there’s 8GB RAM in total. That’s a very healthy amount to start with. And I don’t see a reason why you couldn’t up the memory to 16GB if you wanted to.
This Dell is good for people who like to store lots of data on their computer. Because it features a large 1024GB hard drive. To give an example, such a drive can hold around 200,000 images if we assume a size of 5MB for one photo. The downside in these hard drives is of course the speed, particularly with this drive since RPM rate is only 5400. But replacing it for a quick SSD should be possible.
The system runs on Windows 8.1, the 64-bit edition.
Screen and graphics
Dell Inspiron i5548-833SLV has a typical screen size of 15.6 inches. It’s a non-touch display but the resolution is golden 1920×1080 – something you could expect for this price. So, you get a lot of screen estate to work with, and I’d say the display is indeed one of the best things in this computer.
The new Intel HD Graphics 5500 engine will be responsible of running your games. It’s integrated to the CPU so high-end performance won’t happen. However, this model is one of the fastest in the Intel HD series, beating HD 4400 for example. Most games would work on this laptop, with the popular Battlefield 4 getting around 30FPS on low settings. Older games will naturally get much higher frame rates with eye candy turned on.
Dell Inspiron i5548-833SLV contains three USB ports which might (or might not) be enough for you. Two are USB 3.0 while one is USB 2.0. There’s also a HDMI output so you can plug the laptop to a PC display or HDTV and enjoy a big screen.
Internet can be accessed with a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port or dual-band 802.11ac wireless adapter. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported.
Quite oddly, the manufacturer decided not to install an optical drive. So you’re left with the option to use an external DVD drive. Of course in the era of streaming services and Internet downloads it’s not so big deal it could’ve been in the past. There’s also a memory card reader for SD, SDHC and MS formats if you’re happy with that.
A microphone and 720p webcam are installed, so attending video conferences is possible.
Some other things to keep in mind?
Despite of having the DVD drive left out, Dell Inspiron i5548-833SLV still weighs 5.2 pounds which many other 15.6 inchers with an optical drive also weigh. The battery can’t be praised either, it has only 3 cells and 43 watt hours, so you’ll get probably no more than 3-4 hours battery life on a single charge.
A good thing, the keyboard is backlit. It also comes with a 10-key pad on the right hand side.
Summing it up
Dell Inspiron i5548-833SLV is a powerful laptop with some useful things such as dual-band WiFi, 1920×1080 screen and backlit keyboard. The performance itself is good for power users who want more than a sub-par Celeron notebook can offer. For on-the-go computing I can’t really recommend this Dell due to size and battery life. Another thing is the price: it costs quite much if you only look at the obvious like CPU, although the premium things like Full HD screen make this laptop worth your money.